Rajasthani Besan ka Chilla

Spiced Indian pancakes with turmeric, chilli and fresh coriander


A weekend of late breakfast and spicy pancakes are the perfect fix. There is a such a brilliant variety of Indian breakfast options and more than that a delicious variety of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The most common one’s of course for a spice fix tend to be a masala omelette or spiced scrambled eggs. Which I really enjoy and are quick to make with store cupboard staples.

With pancake day there is usually the appearance of sweet pancakes at home. But given the idea of a savoury alternative this Indian recipe with chickpea flour is my go to option. It’s a really simple recipe and is perfect for those looking for a gluten free or vegan option too. I use chickpea/ gram flour which is readily available in most stores. My recipe is the most basic one that we make at home although feel free to add some vegetables to the batter as well. The key to cooking these is the heat in the pan must be low which will help them go crisp and light brown. My favorite way to serve this is with some coconut chutney or even a really simple Dal. When I’m in a hurry just a simple salad and spicy pickle is good too.



  1. Add the besan to a mixing bowl along with the powdered spices, baking powder, ajwain and salt. Add the water a little at a time and using a whisk stir well to make sure there are no lumps. The batter should have a single cream consistency. Now add the chopped chillies, coriander, onions and tomatoes to the besan mix. Mix well and set aside.


  2. Heat a small non stick frying pan on a low heat and add a tsp of oil. Give the pan a swirl and using a ladle pour the batter in the hot pan. The besan ka chilla must be as thin as possible so using the back of the ladle spread it slightly if needed.

  3. Fry for 3-4 minutes on a low heat on each side until light brown and crisp around the edges. Keep warm wrapped in foil or a tea towel while you make the remaining. Serve warm with pickle and a salad or a green chutney.